Archive | October 2012

Trick or Treat Chorus

pumpkins pumpkins.jpg photo
Photo courtesy of

Doorbell keeps ringing,
Children are singing,
Trick or Treat chorus,
Sure not to bore us.

Costumes are scary,
Makes us feel wary,
Kids do not care much,
What looks upset us.

They like sweet candy,
Makes them feel dandy,
Getting the most sweets,
Is quite a fun feat.

Once they get back home,
To rest and not roam,
Plop down their treasure,
Count up and measure.

Daytimes pass quickly,
Children feel sickly,
If Mom denies some,
She is no more fun.

Kids get so busy,
Causes a tizzy,
Forgetting the fuss,
The rest is for us!

Waiting a Long Time Already!

“Mom,” she said, with her breath sucking in as if she were in shock. “You’re not really going to wear that are you?” Katie looked seriously concerned. Those words still echo in my head even though it was at least 10 years ago when I felt scolded for wearing a raincoat that had gone out of style years before then. All the other moms at Katie’s school were wearing the fashionably fit, shorter-length raincoats that showed off their trim figures. My raincoat is just the opposite of that.

The other day, I pulled it on one sleeve at a time, and I welcomed the puffiness of it all. My black raincoat goes down way passed my knees, doesn’t have a belt and makes a swishy sound when I walk. The zipper that attaches the liner can still be pulled along without a hitch, and I have never needed to replace one button.

I often listen to and appreciate my daughters’ advice on current fashion trends, but there’s something about this raincoat that cannot be replaced. I’ve gone looking for other raincoats off and on for years. Those newer raincoats look sharp and neat, but they make me wonder. Yes, they look grand on the ladies, but the length bothers me. I thought raincoats are meant to be worn in the rain. Rain does not always fall perfectly straight down from the sky. Sometimes wind accompanies rain. Wind makes rain go sideways. This causes pants to get wet. When I wear my old black raincoat, my pants legs do not get wet! Plus, I can count the number of times during the year on either one or two hands of when I need to wear my raincoat in Minnesota. If it rains when it’s warm, I have an umbrella, and when it’s warm, I don’t mind getting wet!

“I bet that raincoat really keeps you dry,” said one of the moms when I walked through the hallway of Katie’s school that day many years ago. I smiled and said, “Yes, it does.”

Now I can’t help but wonder when my old raincoat is going to come back in style. I’ve been waiting a long time already!

Do you have an old piece of clothing that you can’t seem to get rid of?

People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile. ~Lee Mildon

Some Days are More Blessed than Others

Um, you should not be on the chair!!!

I arrived a little early and realized that I should have put the gentle leader on Lila before I left the house. I forgot how much she can pull me when she doesn’t have it on. Lila saw all the people and dogs standing up on the little knoll waiting for the priest to arrive. We jogged over to be among the crowd. (Jogging was Lila’s idea.) Lila greeted some of the other dogs, and calmed down for a little bit. It’s funny how she gravitates towards dogs that look just like her. An older set of black labs could not see what Lila was so excited about.

When Father arrived, Lila decided it would be a good time to make a wild dash towards the planter that decorates the side of the entrance to the church. I wasn’t prepared and got a little gash in my hand from trying to hold her back. If only she had her gentle leader. When we got to the planter, I didn’t see what the big attraction was.

“Come, Lila,” I said.

“Oh, she listens,” said Father. Everyone seemed to be pleased about that, and I heard a few of their chuckles.

We went back to our spot, and I noticed that our cousin, Laura, and her two dogs, Choco and Mortie, had arrived.

“Thank you for inviting us,” said Laura with a hug. I was happy to meet little Mortie. Laura and Paul adopted him the day before from the Animal Humane Society. Laura talked about how great their experience was there. They had been looking for a dog on the website for a couple of weeks, and found Mortie’s picture, went to take a look, and now they have an addition to their family!

“This is Choco’s first blessing too,” said Laura.

“I brought Music to be blessed a long time ago. I didn’t think Father had blessings for the animals any more, but then I heard about it at church this morning. I knew I had to bring Lila,” I said. Music, our first dog, was the type of dog that growled and snapped at other dogs. Music seemed calmer than usual at her blessing, and after she was splashed with the holy water, she relaxed even more. When I heard about the blessing that was coming up, I knew I had to bring Lila.

Father started the ceremony in honor of St. Francis, and Lila was more excited than calm. Lila stayed close by but wandered about to get a few more good sniffs here and there and jumped up randomly for no reason.

A young girl recited a reading, and Father talked about what a blessing it is to have pets in our lives and how God trusts us to take care of them. We prayed our pets would stay healthy, be protected from harm, and we said the “Our Father” together. Everyone spread out to make more of a circle, when Father got ready to bless the animals. I didn’t get splashed with the holy water, but I hoped Lila did.

After the blessings were over, Laura and I chatted a little while longer. It was nice to learn that Mortie and Choco are getting along pretty well, and Laura reported that Mortie appears to be house trained, which is a blessing too!

I was glad that Lila was excited to be blessed even though she hasn’t changed a bit. Going to the blessing was a good reminder of how I feel blessed to have Lila in our lives even though some days are more blessed than others!

Empty Nesters Still Nest

“May I help you find something?” the saleslady asked.

“Yes, do you have any Lazy Susans?” It was my first time in a long time shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I had been to this store a very long time ago and decided that I should stay away from it then because I thought it was expensive and frivolous. That was back when I was a stay-at-home mom. Now I am practically an empty nester.

“I think we have some over here.” I followed her over to all the kitchen gadgets. “What will you be using it for?”

“To organize vitamins and aspirin in my cupboard,” I said. I thought back to the day when my daughter, Katie, told me that I should really organize “that cupboard.” I felt like I looked at her funny when she told me that because she is not always so very organized.

“They are called turntables now,” the saleslady told me with a swift turn of her head as she looked back at me.

“Oh.” I was happy she told me this because I didn’t want to go around saying Lazy Susan all the time if I wasn’t using a popular term and not being up-to-date. Some Susan somewhere must have started a movement against derogatory name calling on behalf of herself and her fellow Susans. Obviously, I didn’t hear about the revolution.

“I ask because we have several types of turntables. I think this one here will best suit your needs. The other types of turntables that we have are wooden and very large.”

The plastic turntables were stacked on a shelf and came in two different sizes. There was a larger single-shelf turntable and a smaller one with two shelves. I wondered out loud if there was a larger double-shelf turntable.

“I will go check our stockroom,” she said. I hadn’t seen such great customer service for a while and I was definitely impressed.

I wandered over to the wall that contained all sorts of utensils. My friend, April, told me about her pineapple corer, and I found one and put it my basket. A bright yellow banana saver screamed “Buy me, buy me.” I don’t know how I managed to live without these items for so long!

“I couldn’t find the larger type with two shelves,” the friendly lady reported back to me.

“Thank you for looking. I think the smaller one will work just fine.”

I found a nice cotton blanket on clearance and headed for the cash register. The cashier greeted me as if we were long-lost friends! While heading for the exit, I spied a wire shelving unit that looked like it would fit under the bathroom sink and help us find things easily. I knew I would be back soon.

When I got home, I piled up old medications in a bag to toss at the local pharmacy and found a new home for my Lazy Susan turntable. Every morning I turn the table and easily find my daily vitamin and fish oil that will hopefully help me remember to say turntable, not Lazy Susan.

The next week when I was in the checkout line at Marshall’s, sitting there, just for me, was a double-shelf turntable. I picked it up and bought it with my new socks. The moment I got home, I organized the shelf that holds the peanut butters, oils, vinegars and honey.

Since the two youngest kids left for college, I’ve been doing a lot of cleaning. This is good because when you clean you might find your kid’s old forgotten bag of Halloween candy sticking to a shelf and wonder how long it’s been sticking there! You also might forget about wondering why your kid is not always so organized.

Empty nesters still nest, but I didn’t think I’d be emptying the house this way!

The Scenery Changes


Yesterday morning the temperature was 35 degrees, and the inside of our house felt so warm and cozy.  Lila didn’t care how cozy things felt; she wanted to go for a walk.


Lila and I have gotten into the routine of walking every Saturday morning, and I wasn’t going to let a little cold temperature get in our way.  Neither was she!


It was the first morning this fall that I had to get the box down and out of the closet to search for hat, scarf and mittens.  After I was all bundled up, I opened the door to meet the cool day, and we ventured out on our three-mile walk.  Lila seemed more chipper than usual and very anxious to get going.  While I smelled the crisp air and dry fall leaves, Lila’s nose pointed up to get a whiff too.


As Lila went sniffing away at a pile of leaves and I dreamily looked away at the babbling creek, I really didn’t think much of her sniffing until we walked a couple steps further, and a little, gray mouse looked up at us as if it was in some sort of shock.  Did Lila just find that mouse in that pile of leaves, I wondered.  It looked as if its fur had been tousled about.  It stared at us for a few seconds and sauntered off to hide in another pile of leaves.  I held tight to Lila and pulled her along.  “Little creatures should be allowed to live in the woods,” I told her.

Light at the end of the tunnel

The sudden colder temperatures slowed down the other little animals too.  Chipmunks chirped at us as we walked by.  They seemed mad that the weather had turned so cold, or maybe they heard through the animal grapeview about the mouse attack.

Lila Looking at Leaves

It’s no wonder that we have gotten used to this routine. We feel so lucky to travel along this path every week. Even though we go on the same path, the scenery changes all the time.